The Wire

  • More Americans watched the royal wedding than the Alabama-Georgia national title game

    Excerpt from WSFA:

    Nielsen reported 29.2 million Americans tuned in to 15 channels to catch a glimpse of the American actress marrying Europe’s most popular prince.

    Numbers in the United Kingdom were about 18 million. That’s down from the 24 million Britons who watched the last royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, according to CNN. The audience in the United States was only 23 million.

    With an extra 6 million viewers, there’s no question the new Duchess of Sussex spiked American interest this time around.

    But how does her wedding compare to TV ratings for other major events?

    It did not surpass Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in 2017, although it came noticeably close. Trump had a TV audience of 30.6 million.

    And the NFL’s super bowl still sits far above the rest of the field with 103.4 million viewers in 2018.

    Even so, the royal wedding topped these major TV events of the last year:

    — 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship – Alabama vs. Georgia – 16.7 million
    — 2018 Men’s basketball national championship game – Villanova vs. Michigan – 16.5 million

  • Rabid fox bites two people at Fairhope golf course

    Excerpt from WKRG:

    Fairhope Police say two people were bitten by a rabid fox at the Rock Creek Golf Club.

    The first person was bitten Sunday while playing golf. When he got out of his cart the red fox ran up and bit his leg. The golfer went to the hospital for treatment.

    On Monday morning, police say the fox bit another person. A member of the course’s ground crew saw the animal and another person was bitten in the leg trying to catch it. Fairhope Animal Control came and to the scene and took the fox away. According to a press release, “it was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for testing, and it tested positive for rabies.  The persons bitten have been notified to seek appropriate treatment.”

    Fairhope Police are asking the public to report any strange behavior in animals. Foxes are reclusive and are rarely seen during the day, the department says. They also avoid human contact.

  • VIDEO: New Ainsworth Ad Calls For Teachers To Be Trained And Armed To Combat School Shootings

    Excerpt from a news release:

    Republican lieutenant governor candidate Will Ainsworth on Monday began airing a new campaign commercial that promotes his plan to combat school shooter situations by training, certifying, and voluntarily arming teachers.

    “Our new ad should serve as a call to action because every school shooting that takes place in another state around the country brings us one step closer to an active shooter attacking classrooms here, in Alabama” Ainsworth said. “Signs reading ‘Gun Free Zone’ are a magnet for those who wish to do harm, so we must provide teachers with the training, knowledge, and ability to defend their students with something more lethal than a ruler and a No. 2 pencil.”

    Under the provisions of legislation Ainsworth introduced during the regular session, teachers and administrators who are approved by a local school board, local superintendent, and local law enforcement director may volunteer to undergo mental health evaluation and complete thorough law enforcement training in areas like firearms safety, crisis management, active shooter engagements, and hostile situations.

    Once certified, teachers would be authorized to voluntarily “carry, possess, store, or otherwise control an authorized weapon while on the premises of a public school.” Much like undercover air marshals who are allowed to be armed on planes, the identities of armed educators will be provided to law enforcement agencies but otherwise kept confidential.
    Its script reads:

    Following the deadly school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday, Ainsworth called on Gov. Kay Ivey to convene a special session on school safety so his legislation and other needed classroom security measures may be passed and put in place during the upcoming summer break.

9 hours ago

7 Things: School shooting and irrelevant arguments, Rep. Ainsworth calls for a special session on arming teachers, Alabama set to lose big to Mississippi, and more

1. Another school shooting leads same old arguments 

— Ten were killed and 13 were wounded when a student opened fire on his classmates with a shotgun and a handgun.

— In spite of the numerous laws this kid broke, lawmakers continue to push for solutions that have NOTHING to do with this event.

2. Calls to allow teachers to carry in Texas grow and candidate for lieutenant governor Will Ainsworth calls on Governor Ivey to call a special session

— Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has two ideas drawing attention nationwide, single-points of entry and arming teachers.

—  State Rep. Ainsworth has proposed letting teachers carry in Alabama and it went nowhere in the last legislative session. He renewed his call on Friday after this shooting.

3. Mississippi could have sports gambling by the time college football starts and could become a tourist destination on game day

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— Gambling officials believe casinos could ready to offer betting on professional and college sports within 45 days; casinos are taxed at 12 percent.

— The Mississippi Legislature didn’t even know this was happening; it was slipped into a bill about fantasy sports.

4. President Trump’s lawyer says Special Counsel Robert Mueller plans to end probe by September 1st

— Rudy Giuliani told the New York Times that Mueller shared his timeline while negotiating President Trump’s willingness to sit down for an interview. The end of the obstruction investigation does not mean an end to the entire probe.

— Giuliani also said he wants the results made public saying, “You don’t want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don’t know how it affected the election,” Giuliani said.

5. Trump calls for an investigation into the placing of spies/informants in his campaign

— The president tweeted, “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purpose”

— FBI agent, and prolific texter, Peter Strozk texted about how the “the White House is running this“, so this is probably necessary.

6. Multiple stories involving the the 2016 campaign came out over the weekend 

— Yes, there was at least one informant inside the Trump campaign, but the media would have you believe it was there to protect Trump.

— Donald Trump Jr. allegedly met with other foreign nations; they offered help in the election but did nothing.

7. President Trump is reportedly preparing to come after Speaker Paul Ryan.

— “Top Republicans” and the president are preparing to possibly force Ryan out of his speaker position early, creating some unnecessary drama.

— This stuff seems foolish while the U.S. House is still in play because it could fuel a “Republicans Civil War” narrative which only helps Democrats, but it would also force Democrats to vote for Pelosi and create a new attack on them.

1 day ago

VIDEO: A lawmaker tries to “out” the Governor — Alabama could benefit from sports gambling — Scott Dawson no-shows his appearance … and more on Guerrilla Politics!

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories including:

— Did Scott Dawson know what he was doing when he started criticizing the Governor for grants to a gay orginization?

— Should Alabama consider legalizing and taxing sports gaming?

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— Why is the media constantly lying about the things President Donald Trump says?

Evangelist and candidate for Governor Scott Dawson was scheduled to join Jackson and Burke but backed out after Dale roasted him on the radio.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at people who are constantly declaring “we are better than this” because we clearly are not.

Why some political smears work, even when they’re lies

(YHN/Flickr)

A little known, counter-intuitive communication phenomenon called “the sleeper effect” means that outright lies can become more persuasive over time even when they come from a source who isn’t credible, according to decades of academic research.

Under the right conditions, researchers say the effect can make shaky stories even more believable than trustworthy ones, particularly if the message is shocking enough to have a strong initial impact on a person’s attitude and the source isn’t revealed until after the message is delivered.

So imagine hearing something that makes a strong impact on you … only to learn the source is someone you don’t find credible or whose intentions may be tainted. The sleeper effect means that as time passes, you may be likely to become more, not less, persuaded by what you heard, regardless of your feelings about the source.

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The sleeper effect was first scientifically observed in 1949 when American soldiers became more persuaded by WWII propaganda films as time passed. Today, the effect is informally observed in some of our culture’s long-standing urban legends.

School-children were the first to spread the myths that Pop Rocks candy is deadly when paired with Coke, Bubble Yum gum contains spider eggs and McDonald’s hamburgers are made out of ground worms.

These myths were once so prevalent that the companies had to issue widespread public reassurances that their foods were safe.

When a prankster circulated the presidential IQ hoax in 2000, it was widely accepted that President George W. Bush had the lowest IQ in presidential history with President Bill Clinton topping the list as the smartest.

An entire website, Snopes.com, is dedicated to debunking hundreds of lies and rumors that catch fire through word-of-mouth, email forwards and social media.

It also helps explain why negative political tactics can be so effective and so dangerous. Voters can end up accepting rumors even when they suspect the source’s intentions and credibility.

It’s not surprising that political candidates fear this public tendency to believe bunk — bunk that can sometimes sink a campaign.

Rachel Blackmon Bryars has a master’s degree in communication with a political focus from The Johns Hopkins University

3 days ago

7 Things: Trump Tower spied on, Burgess believes Dawson is both naive and brilliant, former State Rep. Patricia Todd has lost her job, and more …

(YouTube)

1. It appears there was a spy placed in the Trump campaign in 2016, IG also finds possible criminal conduct in handling of Clinton probe

— A New York Times report, lays out that “at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials,” which confirms the government run by Obama was spying on the Trump campaign.

— Trump called this revelation  “bigger than Watergate” and Americans continue to grow tired of this.

2. Rick Burgess continues to pretend Scott Dawson had no idea what he was doing BUT says it was really smart anyway

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— Burgess is a supporter of Dawson, has said on social media that he doesn’t think Dawson foresaw the obvious attempted “outing” of Ivey even though Dawson admits to knowing about the rumors of Ivey’s orientation.

— He told his listeners, “When you saw what happened, I think that it might have been a good thing for the Republican Party because, in my opinion, this is what they were going to do in October.”

3. Former State Representative Patricia Todd loses her job for trying to “out” Kay Ivey

— After Todd’s Tweet accusing the governor of being gay, Todd’s to-be employer decided they did not want her leading a coalition of gay organizations in Orlando, Florida.

— One Orlando Alliance’s Jennifer Foster said, “The Board affirms that Ms. Todd’s recent comments are not aligned with the values of One Orlando Alliance. We strongly believe that coming out is a personal choice and we do not support involuntarily outing.

4. Tuscaloosa’s Mayor Walt Maddox picks up endorsement of Birmingham’s Mayor Randall Woodfin

— Woodfin called Maddox a “proven leader” and cited his ability to work with different groups of people as a reason to elect him. “Walt’s ability to convince people to work together – black and white, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican – has inspired how I seek to lead Birmingham to a new era of excellence,” Al.com reports Woodfin said.

— The Democrat primary is far less interesting than the Republican primary, the mayor’s endorsement could hold a lot of sway with the young and black portions of the Democrat Party.

5. Gov. Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall get NRA endorsements

— The NRA’s record of endorsing incumbents in races is pretty obvious, incumbents also have an inside track to winning races.

— Marshall’s track record is far more concrete on gun issues; the NRA pointed out that he worked as AG to “prevent local governments from imposing gun control laws. He also stood strong against efforts to ban commonly owned firearms and magazines.”

6. U.S. birth-rate is at 30 year low and that must mean we need more immigrants

— The numbers are pretty amazing, especially in teen births, “the number of teen pregnancies dropped seven percent in 2017 from 2016, 55 percent since 2007, and an overall 70 percent drop since 1991.”

— Americans are not producing enough babies to replace the population, 1000 women will only produce 1764 births, which is not enough to replace the population.

7. Attempts to justify the media’s lying about Donald Trump’s “animals” comment continue into day two

— This is nothing new, it has been going on since he announced he was running, and it shows no sign of stopping.

— Democrat politicians seized on this obvious lie to declare themselves defenders of all people, gang-bangers too.

Financial health of Business Council of Alabama could be in jeopardy

(W.Miller/YHN)

According to many lawmakers, recent years have not been kind to the Business Council of Alabama’s lobbying efforts.

And based upon financial filings, recent years may not have been kind to the organization’s fiscal health, either.

The BCA’s 2016 IRS Form 990 filing, which is required of 501(c)6 nonprofit organizations, does not paint a rosy picture of finances. An examination of the document reveals that contributions and income have decreased while salaries and expenses have increased. 

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The document showed $4,142,334 in revenue and $4,776,029 in expenses, a deficit of $633,695. (The previous year showed a minimal surplus of $95,433.)

President and CEO Billy Canary’s total compensation that year was $627,595. Another $782,131 was transferred to ProgressPAC, the BCA’s lobbying arm.

Nancy Wall Hewston, senior vice president of communications for BCA, told Yellowhammer News in an email that public finance reports from 2016 showed only a “snapshot” in time and shouldn’t be used to determine an organization’s overall financial health.

But the IRS filing guidelines state that Form 990 is the primary mechanism by which an entity exempt from income tax is required to ”publicly disclose the organization’s annual returns.”

The BCA’s financial standing is facing even more uncertainty with the potential departure of several of its largest members.

Executives from three separate companies representing some of the highest contributors of the organization have told Yellowhammer News that a failure to change the organization’s leadership may compel some of the state’s largest employers to leave BCA and form a new entity with the goal of more effective advocacy on issues directly involving jobs and the economy.

These companies leaving could result in substantial funding losses for BCA. One estimate indicates the BCA would lose more than 25% of its already imperiled annual budget.

The Yellowhammer Multimedia Executive Board is comprised of the owners of the company.

Why Trump was right to move embassy to Jerusalem

(I. Trump/Instagram)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

TRUMP FOLLOWS THROUGH ON EMBASSY PROMISE

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, this past Monday was a significant day in the nation of Israel as President Donald Trump of the United States made a bold decision that was actually passed by Congress 20 years ago to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

DR. REEDER: This is something that has been the stated objective of almost every president and every Congress. And, in fact, it was almost an embarrassment to all of the allies who had knowingly turned their eyes and ears from the reality of the Holocaust being inflicted upon the Jewish people by the Nazi regime and then, of course, the uncovering of this site. So, the Holocaust, it was just a matter of a couple of years before the United Nations would pass the declaration for the restoration of Israel back to its homeland. Of course, all of this dates back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

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Now comes this post-World War II movement. Every president, also, of course, wants to bring peace to the Middle East as well. Our last presidents have made initiatives and efforts but it’s been to no avail. Now, interestingly, what President Trump has done, which is placing our embassy in the capital of Jerusalem, let’s make a couple of facts abundantly clear. First of all, Jerusalem is, by the nation of Israel, declared to be her “eternal city,” the eternal capital of Israel.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT ?

Nations always place their embassies in the capital cities of the nation with which they have the relationships and our Congress has authorized that our embassy should be in the capital city of Jerusalem and has so directed it to be, but no president has placed our embassy in the capital city of Israel, which is Jerusalem.

Well, Tom, the question automatically says well, why haven’t presidents done what Congress has authorized? They put the embassy in Tel-Aviv, which has been the functional economic center of Israel. Even though all of their governmental buildings and organizations are located in Jerusalem, we’ve always put our embassy in Tel-Aviv.

WHY DID U.S. WAIT SO LONG TO PUT EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM?

Why? It’s been a bargaining chip out of deference to the Palestinians so that, in negotiations, that has positioned America as a broker of peace and it has been acknowledged that America would be the best broker of a peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israeli nation.

Well, now, as Donald Trump has said, every president has promised to put the embassy there, Congress has authorized the embassy to be there, I’m going to put it there. He put it and an unmistakable message was given because it was on the day that commemorates the establishment of Israel in 1947. Therefore, the president does it and that, of course, has caused significant unrest in Israel.

ISRAEL AND PALESTINE STILL FACE UNREST

TOM LAMPRECHT: In fact, there were dozens of Palestinians that were killed as the Israeli defense forces acted forcefully when a number of terrorists tried to breach a security fence.

DR. REEDER: There were efforts to disrupt the process, efforts to go through the security fences so there were Israeli defense forces. And the Israelis now are under a number of assaults in that there is the Iranian-backed assaults coming out of Syria, which Israel has responded to very forcefully externally and then the internal issues of the Palestinian unrest and their response and the Palestinians have declared that they no longer will look to America or follow America’s peace initiatives.

Now, a lot of people are sitting here looking at this, having seen something we’re going to comment on tomorrow, the Korean initiatives that have been somewhat successful, and what has been the role of this presidential administration. And some are looking at this and saying, well, this may be another example of business as usual by presidents, which is, “I’m not going to put the embassy there so I’ve got a bargaining chip.”

The fact is the bargaining chip hasn’t worked. It hasn’t worked now for four presidents. This president decides: I’m not going to use it as a bargaining chip. I’m going to go ahead and do it and let’s see if that moves the process forward, because there is no other ally that we have that we will not put an embassy in their capital and, if Israel is a strong ally for us, then we need to go ahead and do what we would do with every other nation. And then, from that position, let’s be a player in the matters of negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

PEACE IS A TOP GOAL

It is my opinion that this actually may position the president’s negotiating teams in a more purposeful position. Instead of making Jerusalem a bargaining chip, you’ve made it a reality that has to be dealt with and now move ahead to deal with the reality of how we get a peace agreement there in Israel.

Of course, there’s some evangelicals that their position is this is futile to try to make a peace agreement because the Bible declares that there will be enmity between the sons of Ishmael and the sons of Isaac. However, I would suggest that, while in God’s purposes, what He does with the conflicts of nations is yet to be seen in His providence.

I believe the directive of God’s Word is very clear:

— We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

— We should seek the peace of Jerusalem.

— We should be peacemakers wherever we go.

Well, Harry, what about wars? War is always the failure of human beings to deal with the issues of sin and unrighteousness and evil and, ultimately, wars may settle the immediacy of an issue, but they don’t position you for the long-term effects of what needs to be done for felicity — the fact that we need to promote peace. Whereby, with principles of what is right and what is wrong, you sit down at the table in order to do that which is just for both nations.

PAST APPROACHES WERE DECEPTIVE AND INEFFECTIVE 

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, Abigail Shrier, who writes for The National Review and The Federalist, said the embassy move could be Trump’s most enduring presidential achievement.

DR. REEDER: I have that hope, Tom. I have that very, very hope. I just know that the past approach of withholding the embassy by presidential directive in order to use that to create the opportunity to be the broker of peace between the Israeli people and the Palestinian people hasn’t worked and there is no sense that it will work. I think go ahead and deal with Israel as you would with any other ally, place the embassy there, go ahead and establish that and let Israel deal with the reality of that.

And then, from that position, call the factions within Israel to a table and then I actually think you can speak with more pointedness to Israel, having affirmed her position as an ally rather than, “Israel, we are authorized to put an embassy in Jerusalem but we’re not going to do it unless you make concessions to the Palestinians. And, Palestinians, see, we haven’t put an embassy there so that shows that we’re really not an ally with Israel and you can trust us.”

I don’t think that kind of deception really works. Go ahead and put the embassy there and sit down and say, “Now let’s get on the table what are the issues and how can we create a solution that takes care of the Palestinian people within the confines of the borders of Israel and how can an appropriate nation be established for the Palestinian people?”

I will again remind our listeners that I believe that this was a failure prior to World War II when the Balfour Declaration was not properly fulfilled underneath English oversight and what today is Jordan actually was the very place whereby those who are in Israel were supposed to be given land and a nation and it was to be established. And the creation of Jordan was, actually, I believe, a political figment for other purposes that was put into place, but now Jordan is there — it’s going to be there — now you’ve got to deal with the necessity of, I believe, carving out a Palestinian nation and that’s going to require some appropriate negotiations by Israel with the Palestinian people.

DON’T FORGET THE REAL KINGDOM OF GOD

I would also remind all of our listeners, Tom, that our kingdom we have our allegiance to as believers is, of course, the Kingdom of God that is to be spread with the Gospel to all the nations. And I would remind you that you have, in the Kingdom of God, brothers and sisters who are citizens of the Kingdom of God through a personal relationship with Christ as Lord and Savior who reside in both places. God’s covenant people come from all the nations and, therefore, we are to bring the Gospel of peace to all the nations.

COMING UP FRIDAY:

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Friday’s edition of Today in Perspective, as you’ve already alluded to, we’re going to revisit the North Korean situation. Specifically, I want to take a look at those three detainees that came back to the United States last week and a special note they handed Mike Pence.

DR. REEDER: I would encourage our listeners, why don’t you read Psalm 126 before tomorrow?

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

4 days ago

Are sales taxes outdated for Alabama’s future economy?

(W.Miller/YHN)

Presidential tweets and a Supreme Court case have reignited the question of taxing internet sales. The Court in April heard arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair regarding whether a retailer must have physical presence in a state to have to remit sales taxes. The physical presence rule goes back to 1967 and mail order catalogs.

E-commerce has been costing state and local governments tax revenue, as South Dakota argued in the case. But instead of trying to collect sales taxes online, perhaps we should abandon a 20th Century economy tax.

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General sales taxes produced 23 percent of state and local tax revenues nationally in 2015, while “selective sales taxes” on gas, tobacco, and alcohol contributed another 11 percent. Alabama raises 48 percent of our tax revenue from these taxes. Abandoning sales taxes would open a chasm in Alabama government budgets.

Economics shows that we will have less of anything which we tax. Taxes affect our behavior, creating a cost beyond the revenue raised for the government. “Optimal tax theory” examines keeping this extra cost as low as possible while raising needed government revenue. Efficiency is not, of course, the only factor for evaluating taxes, as most of us also care about fairness.

First widely used in the 1930s, sales taxes readily funded local governments when most people shopped at stores near home. The local sales taxes Alabamians paid went to their city or county government. Times have changed.

Sales taxes have always had drawbacks. For one, they are regressive, meaning that taxes as a percentage of family income falls as income rises. Although economists disagree about how progressive taxes should be (with a progressive tax, payments as a percentage of income increase with income), few view regressive taxes as fair.

Beyond regressivity, services have also proven hard to tax. Malls and big box stores avoided a local sales tax by locating beyond the city limits. Consumer use taxes, enacted for purchases made without paying sales taxes, have proven cumbersome. High taxes on cigarettes have led to cross-border shopping and smuggling.

Online retailing worsened collection problems. Although Amazon now generally collects sales tax, universal collection will be neither easy nor cheap. Differential tax treatment of online and brick-and-mortar sellers raises economic and fairness concerns. Avoiding sales taxes helps keep inefficient online retailers in business. And brick-and-mortar retailers face unfair competition when consumers can avoid sales taxes online.

Internet shopping has improved life for shoppers and entrepreneurs. Shoppers can choose from sellers world-wide without leaving the house. Makers of unique products no longer need to rely on mail order catalogs, and social media groups promote the products to interested consumers. The cost of collecting sales taxes for small businesses, however, is substantial: 13 percent of tax revenues for small retailers, versus 2 percent for large retailers.

Public service ads today encourage people to shop local retailers to fund local government. But optimal tax theory says we should not let taxes distort economic activity too much. Should we potentially halt the evolution of e-commerce, and all the benefits this may bring, simply because local governments can more easily collect sales taxes from local stores?

Our city and county government provide valuable services like police and fire protection, streets, schools, and garbage collection. These services should be adequately funded. I also believe in federalism and want local governments to impose their own taxes. Having Washington collect more taxes and then fund local governments undermines federalism.

Alternatives exist for sales tax revenues. In Alabama, our lowest in the nation property taxes represent an alternative. We might want to try pollution taxes, which promise sound environmental policy and could fund government.

Should we substantially revamp our tax system? If sales tax collection does not stifle e-commerce, my concern becomes moot. Ultimately government in the United States is supposed to serve our interests. Perhaps sales taxes are as outdated as Sears, Toys-R-Us, and the famous retailers who collected them.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University.

4 days ago

7 Things: Trump will not be indicted, Rep. Patricia Todd faces blowback for her reckless claims, Mayor Tommy Battle tries to stay above the fray, and more …

Donald J. Trump (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

1. In a move that shocks no one, the president of the United States will not be indicted; we are one year in

— Rudy Giuliani has relayed a conversation that he had with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team, it appears that even IF they find wrongdoing they will not be indicting a sitting president of the United States.

— The options that remain include writing a report about the president’s behavior for an impeachment or he could declare Trump an unindicted co-conspirator, both better than an actual indictment.

2. LGBTQ group is not happy that Rep. Patricia Todd “outed” the governor

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— Equality Alabama says, “Outing someone without their permission or against their will is an act of violence.” Todd referred to herself as the “head Queer” and said she was tired of “hypocrites.”

— Another group, one who hired State Rep. Patricia Todd, could fire her Friday.

— Gov. Ivey strongly denied she is gay in a TV interview.

3. Most candidates for governor stay quiet on Scott Dawson and Former State Rep. Patricia Todd’s mess

— Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle attempted to stay above the fray, saying, “Running for political office should be about listening to people, about discussing the issues and challenges that face our state, and then determine the best way to take on those challenges and solve those challenges.”

— Alabama Democrats generally stay silent during the controversy, media doesn’t really ask much of them… ever.

4. Trump called animals “animals” and the American media comes out to defend a violent street gang

— During a round-table discussion with California sheriffs on Wednesday, Trump referred to MS-13 as “animals” after a sheriff mentioned them.

— The dishonest mainstream media is implying or flat out saying Trump was referring to all illegal immigrants as animals; this is a lie.

5. Much discussed Trump Tower meeting’s collusion narrative seems like a stretch

— The Russians involved promised some information about illegal Clinton behavior, but couldn’t deliver it, that’s it.

— The only potential problem in this meeting is the fact that Don Trump Jr. doesn’t remember who he called at a blocked number before and after this meeting.

6. Trump’s finances are disclosed, they FINALLY confirm that he paid Stormy Daniels off through personal attorney Michael Cohen

— In a never ending saga of pointless lies, Trump’s latest financial disclosure ensures a final conclusion: Trump paid off Stormy Daniels, he knew it, and he lied.

—  The Office of Government Ethics told the  Justice Department that they believe “the payment made by Mr. Cohen is required to be reported as a liability”, this is not a ” a finding of wrongdoing.”

7. The boring parts of government go on, Sen. Rand Paul is pushing for a major budget vote

— A Senate vote on balancing the budget takes place today, it has little chance of passing, but Paul wants to make it a “litmus test for Republicans who claim to be conservative, but are only too happy to grow the federal government and increase our debt.”

— The plan would cut $400 billion next year and control spending increases until a balanced budget is achieved in 2023.

5 days ago

400 teacher aides to see 25% paycuts as Huntsville City Schools readies to trade a local company for a troubled out-of-state company

(W.Miller/YHN)

On Thursday, the Huntsville City Board of Education will vote on how they handle staffing for over 780 support positions in the school district ranging from cafeteria workers to Special Education Aides. Many people in the community have raised concerns as this could have a huge impact on the future of Huntsville City Schools.

The vendor being recommended by the superintendent has a history of hiring unvetted workers and has been involved in multiple court cases for things like child porn and sexual misconduct. Other vendors are raising questions about how the bid was evaluated, why the district is proposing pay cuts, and why there were no specific specifications about past performance or other factors to block low-quality vendors.

This will cause a lot of problems for Huntsville City Schools and parents, according to Carlos Matthews of Uplifting Huntsville City Schools:

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Posted by Dale Jackson on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Why this matters: This contract represents 26 percent of all the employees that work in HCS. This includes the teacher aides that work with special needs kids, Pre-K teachers, security guards, and more. If the district is unable to fill these jobs with qualified people, it could further degrade the quality of education in Huntsville and compound issues around the desegregation order. I’m all for public-private partnerships, but the Board has to be smart about how it approaches it.

It appears the district needs to go back to the drawing board and rebid this contract with some input from principals and instructional leaders in the district.

The details:
— Current bid proposes a 25 percent pay cut for 400 teachers aides ($15.00 an hour down to $11.25).

— The bid specifications did not include any qualitative requirements for vendors related to past performance or references from other Alabama school districts.

— There are currently 3 vendors serving HCS for staffing – all of which the superintendent is recommending be replaced by an out-of-state company with no prior experience in Alabama schools and a questionable history.

— There are disputes about how the bids were evaluated and whether Alabama bid law has been followed.

5 days ago

7 Things: State Rep. tries to ‘out’ Gov. Ivey, President Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize hits a snag, candidates for governor seem mostly ‘meh’ on gambling as revenue stream, and more

(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)

1. Gov. Kay Ivey is attacked for giving money to a now-closed LGBTQ organization, as State Rep. Todd calls her gay

— Ivey dismissed her opponent and Evangelist Scott Dawson’s accusations that she “betrayed Alabama values” as “desperate” and says the Federal dollars had to go to “underserved” communities.

— State Representative Patricia Todd claimed the governor was gay on Twitter last night, Tweeting “I have heard for years that she is gay and moved her girlfriend out of her house when she became Gov.”

2. President Donald Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize is in doubt as North Korean leader acts erratically

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—  A joint exercise with the U.S. and South Korea have thrown the summit between Trump and Kim Jung-un in doubt and North Korea said it was ending talks with South Korea.

— Meanwhile, Gov. Ivey and six other governors have signed a letter calling for the president to get the award for his moves bringing North and South Korea closer to peace.

3. Most of Alabama’s gubernatorial candidates do not seem excited about a new gaming opportunity

— Republican candidate Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle says “We can’t solve our budgets by gambling” but he would support a vote of the people, Sen. Bill Hightower talked up the societal ills of gaming and integrity of the games being affected.

— Only Sue Bell Cobb appears to be preparing for a push to promote a move to legalize this gambling in Alabama, her primary opponent Walt Maddox says nothing definitive when he says, “There is currently a law in Alabama outlawing such gaming. There is no specific proposal of any kind on the table from anyone regarding this issue,” according to Al.com. “… An opinion on the broad subject of ‘sports gaming’ at this time would be totally uninformed and meaningless.”

4. Alabama Congressman Robert Aderholt and others in Congress appear ready to act against sports gaming

— Sen. Orin Hatch spoke about a need to regulate gambling from the U.S. Congress and Aderholt apparently agrees citing ‘detrimental impact on the games,’ ‘especially in college sports’.

— He also spoke of the impact on personal finances saying, “being able to rack up gambling debts by placing wagers on your cell phone, is a recipe for financial disaster.”

5. Black church in Birmingham wants black church-goers to bail on white churches

— The pastor of a church in Birmingham is upset that a mega-church is moving into a high-crime area and is imploring: “Black folks need to stay out of white churches.”

— The Mayor of Birmingham Randall Woodfin appropriately called this racism out and said, “There is a spirit of racism and division that is over this city. It must be brought down.”

6. Alabama Senator Doug Jones will vote against CIA Director Gina Haspel, citing torture as a reason

— The next CIA Director was involved in a legal form of “enhanced interrogation” that now we have politicians hand-wringing about years later; however, the interrogations worked.

— In typical Doug Jones-fashion, Jones’ decision was made after the numbers were already counted and Haspel’s nomination was no longer in doubt — allowing Jones to avoid the media spotlight.

7. The UN continues their anti-Israel bias, targets the nation for sanction after a hoard attacked it

— As the American media continues to be dishonest about the skirmish in Gaza, the U.N. attempted to launch an investigation into the deaths of Palestinian “protesters” but the U.S. blocked it.

— Ambassador Nikki Haley made it clear where the U.S. stands, saying “The Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy” and “No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”

1 week ago

7 Things: Trump’s GREAT week, Sue Bell Cobb’s sex offender is defended and then arrested, VP Pence says to end Mueller probe, and more …

(www.JobsForFelonsHub.com)

1. Trump’s poll numbers are improving and he has a pretty good week as his numbers trend in the right direction

— A week of accomplishments, with Americans seeing actual progress, grew throughout the week, including the scuttling of the Iran Deal, 3 prisoners released from North Korean labor camp, a date for the U.S.-North Korean summit and 5 ISIS leaders captured.

— Not all was roses though, his former personal attorney continues to be exposed as an opportunist and a problem, the White House denies he had any actual access.

2. Sue Bell Cobb’s sex offender campaign aide turned himself in after breaking the law… again.

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— After AL.com tried to offer a redemption story for the former campaign worker for Sen. Doug Jones and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodifin, someone reported Paul Littlejohn III for working with children.

— This is especially unfortunate for Cobb, or would be if she was a Republican, as she just announced she was standing by him. She also acknowledged it would be bad for him to knock on doors.

3. Vice President Mike Pence joins Congressman Mo Brooks and others calling for an end to Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe

— Vice President Mike Pence urged special counsel Robert Mueller to “wrap it up” and said that would be “in the interest of the country”.

— Pence pointed out that the administration provided more than a million documents and has fully cooperated. At this point most Americans believe the probe is politically-motivated.

4. ALDOT says they are fast-tracking the expansion of I-565 after Gov. Ivey and Mayor Battle mix it up

— After a public spat about road-funding in North Alabama over Intersate funding, the ALDOT says the publicly available documents are outdated but they couldn’t point to a date for the project.

— ALDOT spokesman Tony Harris said, “That area is seeing tremendous growth and the state recognizes the need to respond to that.”

5. White House staffer reacted with a “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” when hearing Sen. John McCain was against confirming Gina Haspel for CIA Director

— Special assistant Kelly Sadler made the comment in a meeting with other communication officials; later she called the senator’s daughter Meghan McCain to apologize.

— Politics is ugly, and Sen. John McCain impending death has brought out the ugly on the Internet, but rarely do seasoned pros offer us something so offensive and wrong.

6. Alabama Democrat Rep. Terri Sewell rejoiced as candidates are now able to use campaign funds for baby-sitting expenses

— When you are constantly searching for wedge issues, you occasionally find one; Rep. Sewell believes in changing election law to allow babysitting cost.

— While it is a silly idea, by a silly person, it is a good wedge issue for PR and to bait any Republican into “not supporting women” by pointing out how silly it is.

7. We’ve heard too much about the candidates’ health; every Gubernatorial candidate should prove they are healthy

— Sen. Bill Hightower is apparently in “excellent physical health“, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle’s doctor says he is in “very good” health, Evangelist Scott Dawson can thank God for what his doctor calls “excellent physical health“, and now Kay Ivey has released a letter from her doctor letting us know she is in “excellent health“.

— I have proposed each candidate actually prove their physical fitness by completing 10 burpees, 10 sit-ups, 10 air squats, and a 200 meter run – zero candidates took me up on it.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: North Korea releases three, Rep. Mo Brooks and others demand AG Sessions end the Mueller probe, Battle and Ivey in street fight, and more …

U.S. Rep Mo Brooks speaks on the House floor today (C-SPAN/YouTube)

1. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returns from North Korea with 3 hostages

— One day after President Donald Trump ended the Iran Deal, and his detractors said this would screw up any North Korean negotiations, Pompeo brought Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song, and Kim Sang Duk home.

— The release of the three Americans is seen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the planned summit between the two leaders. Some experts believe the release was a pre-condition.

2. Congressman Mo Brooks, 17 others, call for end to Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe

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— On the one year anniversary of the firing of James Comey, Brooks and others called for AG Sessions to act to end the probe by July 5.

— Brooks took to the floor of the U.S. House saying, “Mueller’s inability to finish the special counsel investigation in a timely manner is damaging America.”

3. Governor Kay Ivey releases a letter from her doctor, just like most of her opponents

— After weeks of releases of medical records and doctors’ notes, Gov. Ivey has finally responded in kind to allegations that she is not well, with a release of her own.

— She called the releases a “publicity stunt”, but released a note from her doctor of 15 years that declared, “she is in excellent health.”

4. Gov. Ivey and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle start getting chippy over road dollars

— A ribbon cutting in Huntsville became a gubernatorial forum when Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle raised concern over the widening of nearby Interstate 565; Ivey said the project is a “priority” for her to “set the record straight”.

— AL.com pointed to information available on the state’s website that said the earliest date for road-widening projects is 2043, and other projects don’t start until 2050.

5. Disgraced failed candidate still has people seeking his endorsement for some reason

— Roy Moore is still a thing in Alabama, and his former aide is running for Congress with his endorsement, an endorsement that could loom large in a GOP primary.

— Rich Hobson is running for Congress in Alabama’s second Congressional District against Congresswoman Martha Roby, State Representative Barry Moore and former Congressman Bobby Bright.

6. President Trump’s attorney was selling influence with the president; his clients have admitted this

— Stormy Daniel’s attorney continues his personal war against Michael Cohen with a media blitz and leaked document dump accusing Michael Cohen of selling access to the president.

— Even though some of the transactions have been tied to other Michael Cohen-s, it appears Trump’s personal attorney was profiting from access to the president.

7. Iranians have fired rockets at Israel, and somehow the Iran Deal’s demise could be one reason this happened

—  Iran launched 20 missiles towards Israel; this is considered the first time Iran has fired rockets on Israeli forces.

— Media reports are highlighting that this happened after the Iran Deal ended, but Israel has been hitting Iran in Syria for a while.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Trump fulfills another campaign promise, Iran Deal is dead, Alabama Governor’s committee on schools is a joke, and more …

(YHN/Pixabay)

1. The Iran Deal is just one more campaign promise kept by the president and his record on those promises is pretty good

— So far he has appointed a conservative Supreme Court Justice, cut taxes, killed the individual mandate, withdrawn from Paris Climate Accord, withdrawn from the TPP, slashed regulations, cut immigration, increased defense spending, and now has withdrawn from the Iran deal.

— His two major policy failures appear to be neglecting a total repeal of ObamaCare and not building the wall, both which Congress must help him with because these are actual legislative issues.

2. Trump trashes the Iran Deal, as he should have, and the media is NOT happy and neither is President Obama

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— The president followed through on his promise to kill the Iran Deal, to which Iran responded by saying they would enrich more uranium than ever and France said they will work on a broader deal.

— President Obama and his allies can pout all they want about one of their “achievements” going away, but they never got it ratified and because of that, Trump can end it.

3. Gov. Kay Ivey’s school safety report is out and it is as worthless as you would think it would be

— After the Parkland, Florida, shooting the governor of Alabama wanted a committee to offer ideas instead of supporting actual changes to makes schools safer.

— The report has found the obvious, that we should have more school resource officers and make the buildings more difficult targets, but it sidesteps the issue of allowing teachers to carry.

4. Gov. Kay Ivey keeps playing rope-a-dope with her opponents; debate and medical record attacks don’t work

— Another day, another GOP candidate lets you know how healthy he is – this time it is Scott Dawson.

— Gov. Ivey has made it clear she doesn’t care, and continues to tell her opponents that if they have an allegation about her health, they “ought to come out and just plum say it.”

5. Primary elections get results that should make those concerned about “fringe” GOP candidates happy, but it doesn’t matter

— West Virginia’s coal baron felon America person Don Blakenship comes in 3rd in the GOP primary, sending the media searching for the next Roy Moore or Todd Akin.

— The fretting for the “future of the GOP” now moves to Arizona where Sheriff Joe Apario and State Senator Kelli Ward represent the media’s boogeymen against a more established Rep. Martha McSally.

6. Democrat candidate for Governor Sue Bell Cobb is employing a registered sex offender to go door-to-door for votes

— #MeToo seems like a go to issues for a female candidate who also was a Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, but Cobb has a man working the streets for her that served 30 years in jail for rape by forcible compulsion, sodomy I and robbery I.

— Cobb’s campaign defends the hiring of this employee by saying he should be forgiven for his crimes, and asking have you ever made a mistake? Once you have atoned for that mistake, do you believe in forgiveness? The man also worked for Mayor Woodfin and Senator Jones as well.

7. Apparently New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s abusive lifestyle was an “open secret

— Just like with Roy Moore, the minute the allegations started flowing about former AG Schneiderman about sexual misconduct, people claim they knew all along and did nothing about it.

— Allegations of a hit-and-run, drug use, bribery and heavy drinking were all part of the story of this politician that politicos and journalists excused because as one of his victim’s friends stated, he was “was too valuable a politician for the Democrats to lose.”

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Iran Deal could be killed today, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones will give back illegal donations, another progressive hero goes to sexual misconduct allegations, and more …

(B. Froberg/Flickr)

1. Disastrous Iran deal seems to be on life support, Kerry’s shadow diplomacy all but seals that

— President Donald Trump has announced that he will announce the fate of the Iran deal today at 2:00 PM EST, he is expected to end or drawdown the program.

— Trump’s references to former Secretary of State Kerry’s attempts to save the deal could signal it’s demise, tweeting “The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal. He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!”

2. Sen. Doug Jones’ office says he will return the money he illegally received from Rosie O’Donnell in 2017

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— Jones’ treasurer told Yellowhammer News, “The campaign will bring this situation into full compliance which, in this case, will be done with a refund of the amount over $2,700.”

— O’Donnell’s donations do not appear to be mistakes — she used 5 different addresses and 4 variations of her name in order to make her donations.

3. Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to be the Trump Administration’s MVP

— The much maligned former senator for Alabama continues to be the strong immigration face of a chaotic administration and has declared a “zero tolerance policy” on illegal border crossings.

— Sessions announced, from San Diego, “I have put in place a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry on our southwest border. If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple.”

4. Attorney General candidate Alice Martin appears to have improperly sought an appointment from Gov. Robert Bentley

— Former Senator Luther Strange sought an appointment from Gov. Bentley while he should have been investigating him; Martin appears to have done the same thing.

— Martin implied that taking or seeking the endorsement from Bentley was inappropriate, in reference to current AG Steve Marshall, meanwhile evidence has emerged that she sought the appointment, interviewed for it, and was dishonest about it.

5. Another progressive hero exposed as a monster – New York’s Attorney General is accused of sexual assault

— Eric Schneiderman has now resigned after The New Yorker printed allegations of abuse by four different women, even though Schneiderman contests the allegations.

— As continues to happen, an outspoken liberal hero of the #MeToo movement and proud member of “The Resistance” has been outed as a potential physical abuser and sexual deviant.

6. President Trump looks to avoid another Alabama in West Virginia

— President Donald Trump warned Republicans in West Virginia not to vote for Donald Blankenship in that state’s Republican primary because the candidate, who did jail time for a safety violation that killed 29 miners and who has made racial gaffes, would be an easier opponent for incumbent Democrat Senator Joe Manchin.

— Trump and GOP strategists fear another primary that ends with an easy to demonize candidate that fails to pick up a seat that appears to be an easy lay-up for a non-controversial candidate.

7. Poll deniers will love these polls that show more approve of the way the country is doing than have since 2007

— 57 percent say things are going well in the country. This is up from 49 percent in February.

— While Trump’s performance approval numbers remain stagnant, his numbers on individual issues are continuing to climb.

2 weeks ago

7 Things: Mueller probe may be out of bounds, Gubernatorial hopefuls try to pressure Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama Senator Doug Jones took illegal campaign funds from Rosie O’Donnell, and more …

(Wikicommons, G. Skidmore/Flickr)

1. Special Counsel Robert Mueller questioned by a judge about the legitimacy of parts of the investigation

— Judge T.S. Ellis III questioned whether or not Mueller’s team had a reason to be going after former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort other than to get Trump.

— The judge said, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” and said the prosecution was “about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”

2. More of Alabama’s Gubernatorial hopefuls have released their medical records as they try to pressure Gov. Kay Ivey

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— With Ivey up big in recent polls, the only strategy that can work is chipping away at her likability via “questions” in the form of stunts and strategic campaign releases from her challengers.

— Ivey continues to accurately describe these releases as a “publicity stunt” leading most to believe we will see no release from the governor.

3. Did Alabama Senator Doug Jones know he was taking illegal donations from liberal “celebrity” Rosie O’Donnell?

— A New York Post investigation found that O’Donnell donated large sums of money to five different Democrat candidates, including Jones and Democrat Representative Connor Lamb.

— Jones’ campaign took $4,700 from O’Donnell. The limit is $2,700, and his office has not yet responded to the information.

4. Despite her campaigning on public corruption, Alice Martin sought an appointment from Gov. Robert Bentley

— Martin, who is running for Attorney General, sought an appointment from the governor she was investigating for public corruption.

— She has hedged in the past on whether or not she sought the appointment at all (she did), whether she did an interview (she did), and whether she wrote a “thank you” note to Bentley (she did).

5. John Kerry is possibly violating the Logan Act as he works against America on the Iran Deal

— Former Secretary of State John Kerry is being accused of Logan Act violations as he travels the globe working against the current administration. He has met with Iran in an “aggressive yet stealthy” mission.

— Former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was threatened with the Logan Act prosecution in the lead up to the Trump Administration taking power.

6. In order to further muddy the waters on the Stormy Daniels issue, Guiliani says Trump probably paid many women off 

— While Trump-supporters accurately point out the Stormy Daniels mess has nothing to do with the Trump-Russia probe, his aides continue making the situation catnip to the press.

— Both Kelly Anne Conway and Rudy Giuliani expressed the opinion that Trump has been lying about his knowledge on the Stormy Daniels matter for some time. Giuliani also opined that there are more women to come forward.

7. Democrat chances continue to fade; the sure thing in the House is no more, and they could lose seats in the Senate

— The Democrat #bluewave slows to a possible ripple with “deadweight” candidates, including revolutionaries and “a progressive journalist” making pickups seem more complicated.

— The Senate was already a extreme long-shot for Democrats, and the current math isn’t helping, with a best case Republican scenario being a nine seat pickup.

2 weeks ago

Fact Check: Is Jordan Peterson ‘alt-right’?

(Wikicommons)

NBC News aired a segment about Canadian academic Jordan Peterson that labeled him an “alt-right intellectual.”

Verdict: False

Peterson not only rejects identity politics, including the white nationalist underpinnings of the alt-right – he actively tries to steer his followers away from the political fringes.

Richard Spencer and other alt-right leaders have criticized Peterson for not confronting the “racial issue.”

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Fact Check:

Peterson is a psychologist-turned-culture warrior who gained notoriety in late 2016 for speaking out against political correctness in Canada. He found an audience for his views on YouTube, where his videos have been watched over 53 million times.

As his influence on the right has grown, the news media has sought to explain the meteoric rise of a respected, but largely unknown professor at the University of Toronto.

On Saturday, “NBC Nightly News” aired a segment on Peterson saying it must be his popularity among the “Donald Trump-loving alt-right.”

“I think he’s dangerous because of the sorts of people that he enables,” said John Semley, a journalist and critic whom NBC interviewed for the segment.

It’s not the first time that Peterson has been associated with the alt-right. He’s been called a “hero,” “darling” and even “poster boy” for the movement.

NBC News calls him an “alt-right intellectual.”

The alt-right believes in a tribal form of politics that places racial identity above all else. “The Alt Right believes we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children,” writes Vox Day, a prominent alt-right leader.

Except Peterson rejects all forms of identity politics, which he calls a “sick game.”

“You don’t play racial, ethnic and gender identity games. The left plays them on behalf of the oppressed, let’s say, and the right tends to play them on behalf of nationalism and ethnic pride. I think they’re equally dangerous,” he told Time Magazine.

Peterson can be found making similar denunciations here, here, here and here.

Instead, Peterson advocates for the values of personal responsibility and Western individualism. “The correct game, as far as I’m concerned, is one where you focus on your individual life and try to take responsibility for your actions.”

He describes himself as a “classic British liberal.”

Alt-right leaders have criticized Peterson for refusing to “confront the racial issue.” “He could have been radical,” Spencer tweeted in February. “He ended up as a conservative.”

Day calls him an “integrity-challenged coward” for his views on ethnicity.

“The combination of his sudden success with his observable intellectual ineptitude suggests that he has been elevated by the mainstream media in order to provide a harmless, toothless, and non-Christian alternative to the failed conservative movement of William F. Buckley and the failed neoconservative movement of Bill Kristol and Ben Shapiro,” he wrote in April.

So why the comparisons to the alt-right?

Peterson thinks labels like “alt-right” and “white supremacist” are meant to damage his reputation.

He does acknowledge that part of his fan base comes from the alt-right, but he believes the extent of that support has been exaggerated.

Peterson says the association began, oddly enough, when he wore a frog hat for a video as self-deprecating humor (his voice has been compared to Kermit the Frog). People began to comment how the hat, a gift from a Native American carver, resembled Pepe the Frog, a meme character that has been adopted by members of the alt-right on web forums like 4chan.

“I just about fainted after I posted that and people pointed out the correspondence with Pepe – really, I just about fainted,” Peterson said in one video.

But that shock turned into a fascination with meme culture and why it’s become so popular among young men on the political right. Soon thereafter, he posted a video called “The Metaphysics of Pepe.”

“Because I’ve been, let’s say, identified under many circumstances now with the alt-right, I’ve been doing every bit of investigation I can into its many manifestations,” Peterson said on the “Joe Rogan Experience.” “It’s a very confusing place.”

Peterson believes that, for the most part, the memes are used to troll the far left as a sort of defensive humor. “Most of the people who are using this sort of symbol are using it in a deeply satirical way,” Peterson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

But he doesn’t dispute that it’s been co-opted by some on the alt-right like Spencer, who wears a Pepe the Frog pin. The Anti-Defamation League considers it a hate symbol.

Critics point to a picture Peterson took with two fans holding a Pepe the Frog flag as proof of his affiliation.

However, Peterson argues it would be counterproductive to distance himself from the meme. He frequently touts the number of young men he’s brought away from the alt-right by engaging with them.

Peterson: What do you think should happen in this polarized world? If you’re dealing with people that you think are being attracted by a pathological ideology – what do you think you should do with them? What I do is talk to them and say, “Look, why don’t you make yourself into an individual and get the hell away from the ideology?” And so a lot of these kids are lost in the underworld, let’s say – in nihilism – and they turn to these ideological solutions because they don’t know what else to do, and they’re angry. It’s like, I have something better for them to do. Grow the hell up and sort yourself out as an individual.

While the NBC News segment describes him as an enabler of the alt-right, Peterson, 55, views himself as a father figure of sorts, helping bring “lost boys” away from the political fringes. He released a self-help book in January called “12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos” and previously developed a “self-authoring” program for students.

Peterson follows in the footsteps of other conservative commentators who offer a critique of the political left, including the ideas of white privilege, intersectionality and the social justice warrior mindset.

He’s drawn ire from the left, in part, for his insistence that gender is inseparable from biological sex and that discrimination alone does not explain the gender pay gap. Yet he remains optimistic about the state of discourse in the West.

Peterson: It’s really easy to get into a warfare mindset, especially when you’re peppered on all sides with accusations about your sexism and your racism and your transphobia and your right-wing status. But, if I step back, I think, Jesus, there’s been a lot of discussion over the last year, and a lot of it’s really intense, and some of these issues do seem to be bubbling up to the surface. So, you know, maybe if we just hold our ground and keep stating what seems to be the elements of a proper counter-narrative, then we’ve got some chance of sorting this out without further degeneration.”

NBC News did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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2 weeks ago

7 Things: Rudy Giuliani keeps making things worse, Alabama school system wants weapons stashes to fight shooters, and Gov. Ivey supports a teacher sent home for a “just pray” shirt, and more …

"Lady Justice" Flickr user Scott*

1. Giuliani thinks the president could be subpoenaed, now he says Trump didn’t know about the payment, and most think Mueller wants to take down Trump

— After dropping a bombshell on “Hannity” Wednesday night, Giuliani told ABC News that the chance Trump is subpoenaed is 50/50.

— Giuliani also told NBC news Trump was shocked when he was told about the payment to Stormy Daniels, saying when the president found out he said, “Oh my goodness, I guess that’s what it was for.”

2. Autuga County School wants non-lethal weapon stashes at schools

— The superintendent says the stashes would enhance security in case of a shooter, they include items such as pepper spray or Flexi-Cuffs. and they notify the police when they are opened.

— Limestone County currently has a a similar program in place and a school system in Pennsylvania has suggested rocks in the corner. All these things are worthless in the case of a mass shooting.

3. As predicted, Gov. Kay Ivey is being hounded about her medical records

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— Last week, Sen. Bill Hightower opened the door for talk about medical records by releasing his for absolutely no reason.

— Ivey did not say if she will release her records, but did point out that Sen. Hightower has run for office 3 times and never once released his records before.

4. Gov. Kay Ivey tosses her support behind a teacher sent home for daring to wear a “just pray” shirt

— A public-school teacher was told to change/cover her shirt that said “just pray” or go home; she choose to go home.

— The Governor of Alabama has weighed in on this “controversy” saying, “The right to express one’s religious beliefs, including prayer which was often invoked by George Washington himself, is not lost when one enters the schoolhouse door. I am committed to protecting religious freedom for everyone, including our teachers and school children.”

5. Media outlets and Democrats NEED the threat of Chief Justice Roy Moore running for office

— Earlier this week, disgraced Republican Senate loser Roy Moore announced he was suing his accusers and others, he also made a vague comment that seemed to squash the media’s hopes of running for office in the future.

— Reporters had to make sure the hope for a Roy Moore candidacy down the line is possibly still alive, hounding him for a clarification he would give, saying he might run “if the opportunity arises”.

6. Speaker Paul Ryan is being clear about what happens if Republicans lose the House; maybe Trump should take note

— While Ryan has already decided he is not running for re-election, he keeps trying to sound the alarm that the end of the GOP control will usher in a era of investigation and gridlock.

— In spite of the momentum on the Democrat side, Ryan says the party’s data shows the GOP would hold the House if the election were now.

7. People who mock prayer daily act offended that the president isn’t pious, Christians seem to not care he isn’t

— As Trump was participating in a National Day of Prayer service, a reporter shouted, “Why are you changing your story on Stormy Daniels?”

— A recent poll found white evangelical support for Trump at 75 percent and holding a favorable view President Trump – the highest yet.

3 weeks ago

Pro football in the Spring again — and the big economic challenge the AAF represents

(AAF/Facebook)

Spring professional football returns in 2019 with the Alliance of American Football (AAF). I am very excited about this and think that the league has an excellent chance to be successful. The AAF’s potential also illustrates one of economics’ most difficult challenges.

The Alliance’s eight teams will play a ten game season beginning after the Super Bowl. The AAF’s founders have great sports backgrounds: Charlie Ebersol is the son of long-time NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol, while Bill Polian was General Manager of three NFL teams. The Alliance will offer a partnership with the players and features former NFL players Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, and Jared Allen in executive positions.

The Alliance will feature some innovative rules, like only two point conversions after touchdowns. In place of dangerous kickoffs, teams will take possession on their own 25-yard line. Instead of on-sides kicks, a team can take the ball with fourth and ten on their own 35-yard line. Fantasy football will be promoted extensively. Steve Spurrier and Brad Childress will coach the teams in Orlando and Atlanta.

The league will own the teams, which should allow maintenance of salaries consistent with projected revenue. Salaries will be well below the NFL’s average of $1.9 million. But attracting players should not be a problem; Canadian Football League fills its rosters with an average salary of around $80,000. As only about 2 percent of college players make the NFL, many recognizable players will be available.

Many football fans find themselves in withdrawal after the Super Bowl, with the next games seven months away. Add in fantasy players and sports bettors, and the market seems available. The Alliance gives football junkies something to talk about, but what does this have to do with economics? It illustrates a critical and controversial element of economic performance.

Spring pro football sounds like a great and profitable idea. But if spring football is such a great idea, why hasn’t it been tried since the United States Football League’s last spring season nearly 35 years ago? If I am right about the AAF’s prospects, then investors have been missing out on profits, fans on entertainment, and players on opportunity. In other words, the market has failed to deliver something of value.

The fundamental question in economics is whether free markets or activist government provides the better path to prosperity. And the potential inefficiency in markets arises from products and services not available. The items businesses provide every day almost certainly create value, because customers will only repeatedly buy products they find worth the price, while firms won’t continue to sell at a loss. But would products and services which are not available provide value for the economy?

Establishing conclusively that any product not available would make us better off is extremely hard. To see why, consider spring football. The idea must have occurred to investors, since the USFL, Arena Football, and Vince McMahon’s XFL all played spring and summer games. Investors may have explored the idea and identified challenges I do not see. I have never started a business, so professional investors should be more likely to see potential problems than me. Given the potential challenges, the AAF’s success may be far less certain than I think.

Everybody probably has an idea for a new product or service that would make a fortune. As criticisms of the market, most of these claims are really like Monday morning quarterbacking. Further, the claims also invite a challenge: if I were sure that spring football was a “can’t miss” deal, I could invest in the AAF. Yet this well-founded skepticism of great products not available easily bleeds into ideological certainty that markets always provide all valuable new products.

Spring football is returning. As a football fan, I am bullish on the Alliance’s prospects, but the economist in me remains cautious. If the league is successful, then we should ask why this didn’t happen years ago. And that will be an important economic question.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University.

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3 weeks ago

7 Things: Giuliani exposes a Trump lie while an aide declares Mueller is seeking collusion, Republicans nominate Trump for a Nobel Prize, Lieutenant Governor’s race has a lot of undecideds, and more …

(WH, Wikicommons)

1. Former Trump campaign aide says the Special Counsel’s focus is Russian collusion, President Donald Trump lies again

— Michael Caputo says Mueller’s team knows “more about the Trump campaign than anyone who ever worked there” and says they are still very much interested in collusion.

— Trump and his team continue to make his life worse by going on Fox News and exposing the president’s lies about Stormy Daniels, and Rudy Giuliani appears to acknowledge a potential campaign finance violation.

2. Republicans in Congress nominate President Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize as North Korea releases U.S. detainees

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— North Korea has freed three U.S. citizens from a forced labor camp and has sent them to the nation’s capitol for medical treatment. They will be released to Trump on the day of the U.S.-North Korea summit.

— Like the president of South Korea, a group of 18 House Republicans led by Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana sent a letter Wednesday to members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

3. The Republican Lieutenant Governor’s race is much closer than the Governor’s race; 61 percent are undecided

— Current President of the Public Service Commission Twinkle Cavanough is leading the field with 24 percent of respondents choosing her, State Representative Will Ainsworth and State Senator Rusty Glover have eight and seven percent respectively.

— Former Madison County Democrat Chairman Clete Wetli was asked on the radio about the Democrat candidates for Lt. Gov. and he had no clue who was running. That should tell you how confident Democrats feel about their statewide chances.

4. Teachers win and students lose again as a judge rules that a Montgomery charter school cannot open

— The Alabama Education Association argued, successfully, because there are only nine members currently on the ten member board, that five is not a majority and the school cannot open.

— The AEA has declared war on all charter schools, school choice, and any type of voucher program that threatens their strangle-hold on one of America’s worst statewide school systems.

5. Alabama’s Attorney General joins a lawsuit to end the DACA program

— Texas AG Ken Paxton wants the courts to declare DACA unlawful and bar the federal government from issuing permits through the program created by President Barack Obama via executive action, courts have stopped the President from ending the program.

— Alabama has joined the lawsuit, with Marshall calling on Congress to pass immigration laws if the county is to go down this path, saying, “It is on Congress to act in this theatre because it’s their responsibility, not the president’s to grant status to certain individuals.”

6. Proving that it is never too early to poll anything, Trump crushes his Republican rivals in 2020

— Trump easily beats both Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake one-on-one in New Hampshire, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachutes is leading Democrats.

— These polls are absurd, a 2014 poll in 2016 had then-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the lead while Trump was not even included in the polling.

7. Although, no one really covered it, students around the country staged a walk-out in support of gun rights

— The organization “Stand for the Second” led a walkout that took place in at least 40 different states.

— A nationwide walkout for gun control garnered round the clock news coverage in the lead up and live shots during the event, but this did not happen for the alternative event.

Just released! Questions for Alabama’s lieutenant governor candidates

(YHN/Pixabay)

Candidates for public office, once elected, bring their underlying principles and perspectives on policy issues into office with them, thus defining how they govern. It is important for citizens to know and understand the candidates for which they are voting, and Yellowhammer News and the Alabama Policy Institute (API) are partnering to bring that information to Alabama voters.

Over the course of the next few weeks, candidates will be issued a questionnaire with questions ranging from political philosophy to state-specific questions on fiscal responsibility, education, and job creation. By providing an outlet for candidates to address these topics, we hope to foster a more engaged and informed electorate in Alabama.

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Why are API and Yellowhammer News issuing these questionnaires?

It is a difficult task to get each candidate running for office on the same stage. When they do share a live audience, candidates are rarely given the opportunity to answer challenging policy questions.  These questionnaires provide this opportunity—one that will benefit both candidates and the electorate. This format will give candidates time to provide more thoughtful responses and will give Alabamians the information they need to cast their vote. Issuing the questions on a public platform provides accountability and transparency between the candidates and voters, which is vital to a more informed citizenry.

How will the process work?

API and Yellowhammer will release a list of questions, which will be posted on the Yellowhammer News website, on the Alabama Policy Institute website, and sent to the campaigns of each candidate. The candidates will each be allowed two weeks to respond to the questionnaire. The answers will be posted by Yellowhammer News and the Alabama Policy Institute and available for the candidates to post on their respective websites.

Last week, the questions were sent to the campaigns of the gubernatorial candidates, who were told that they have until May 11 to submit answers. As responses come in, they will be posted online. On Friday, questions will be sent to the candidates for attorney general, to be submitted by May 18.

API and Yellowhammer challenge all of the candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general to answer these questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. Prior to casting our votes, Alabama voters deserve to know what their candidates believe and how they will view the issues presented to them.

As election day draws near, we look forward to receiving their responses and sharing that information with you.

2018 Lieutenant Governor Questionnaire

Alabama Policy Institute and Yellowhammer News

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

What is your political philosophy and, if elected, how would it shape the way you lead as lieutenant governor?

How have you demonstrated your commitment to your political philosophy?

What should be the role of the lieutenant governor?

What is the most challenging social issue facing families in Alabama? Does government have a role in helping to solve that problem, and if so, what would you propose?

ETHICS

According to the Center for Public Integrity, Alabama receives a D+ grade for integrity. When the state is in the national news, it is often because of a lack of ethical behavior by state officials or candidates. How would having you as lieutenant governor improve our state’s image nationally and, more generally, what suggestions do you have to ensure integrity throughout the state government?

As lieutenant governor, you will be responsible for appointing more than 400 people to state positions. How can Alabamians be sure that you will appoint qualified and experienced candidates and not simply supporters from current or previous electoral campaigns?

EDUCATION

PUBLIC EDUCATION

Alabama is ranked number forty-seven on U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best States for Education, and ranked number 1 in Pre-Kindergarten quality. As far as public education reforms, there have been many suggestions for improvement including increased investment in STEM education, distance learning, and reforming teacher tenure. What reforms would you propose or support to improve public education and prepare Alabama’s children for school success and lifelong learning?

EDUCATIONAL CHOICE

In 2015, Alabama became the 43rd state to approve legislation to authorize charter schools. Many states now allow parents to transfer their child from a failing public school to a non-failing public school, to utilize education savings accounts or school vouchers, or to send students to alternative schools using tax-credit scholarships, allowing parents greater control in their child’s educational endeavors. How should educational choice fit into Alabama’s education system?

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

TAX CODE

In Alabama, the bottom 20% of earners pay 10% of their income in state and local taxes while the top 1% only pays 3.8% of their income in the same taxes. If elected, what would you propose be the future of the state income tax and do you see this disparity as a problem?

STATE AND LOCAL TAXES

According to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, Alabama boasts the 12th most regressive state and local tax system in the nation. One contributor to this ranking is our combined 9% grocery tax (only four states tax groceries more than Alabama). In 2017, Governor Bentley proposed decreasing the grocery tax by 4%. If you are elected, would you suggest changes to the grocery tax?

INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT

US News ranks Alabama’s roads and bridges as the 16th and 21st best in the country, respectively. Even so, every neighbor of ours—except Mississippi – has roads and bridges that rank in the top 10. Alabama also ranks 45th in terms of broadband access. If elected, what would you prioritize as the most important infrastructure investment projects,  and what innovative options would you propose to fund such projects?  

STATE-RUN LOTTERY

Most states resort to installing a state-run lottery to increase revenue and pay for government projects. Do you support a lottery to solve the state’s fiscal woes? Why or why not?

FEDERAL DEPENDENCY

Alabama is currently the fourth most federally dependent state in the country. What do you think should be the federal government’s role in our state finances?

THE RIGHT TO WORK

JOB CREATION

The Census Bureau suggests that Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee are creating more jobs than Alabama. As lieutenant governor, how would you foster job creation that rivals our neighbors to the north, east, and south?

ROLE OF LABOR

Alabama is a right-to-work state. In your opinion, what is the proper role of organized labor and should Alabama remain a right-to-work state?

OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING IN ALABAMA

The state of Alabama licenses 151 different occupations and over 20% of Alabama workers need a license to work. If elected, how would address these regulations—regulations that both the Obama and Trump administrations have regarded as problematic?

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

OPIOID EPIDEMIC

According to the CDC, Alabama is the state highest-prescribed with opioids, with more prescriptions than people. Opioids are the main driver of overdose deaths and, in 2016, 756 Alabamians died from drug overdoses. As lieutenant governor, how would you help the governor tackle Alabama’s share of this national crisis?

CRIME PREVENTION

Alabama has the third highest murder rate in the country. As lieutenant governor, how would you address crime and what policies, specifically, would you propose?

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Good numbers for President Trump and Gov. Ivey, Pelosi wants the Speaker’s gavel, Alabama Democrats want higher taxes, and more …

1. Gov. Kay Ivey’s poll numbers continue to look good, Huntsville’s mayor Tommy Battle is in second place with only 11 points

— In a poll of 600 Alabamians, Ivey leads the four person GOP field with 47 percent. She leads in all demographic groups.

— Battle is strong on his home turf of North Alabama but he still is tied, with he and Ivey getting 33 percent in an area where he has to win big.

2. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly ready to subpoena the President of the United States

— Mueller told Trump’s legal team directly he could “compel” the president to testify via a grand jury subpoena if he refused to sit down for an interview.

— Trump’s lawyers created a list of 49 questions, someone leaked, that could come up in the questioning between Mueller’s team and the president.

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3. Nancy Pelosi believes she will be Speaker of the House, Democrats continue to play off impeachment threat

— Pelosi is telling supporters she intends to lead House Democrats if they recapture control of the chamber in November. Cook Political Report lists eight GOP held seats as likely or leaning toward Democrats and 22 more as toss-ups.

— Democrats are fund-raising off of the issue of impeachment with Rep. Maxine Waters saying 70 percent of Democrats want to vote for it, setting up a debate in House districts across the country.

4. President Donald Trump sees his strongest poll numbers in 11 months, but they still aren’t great

— Only 42 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president; the economy continues to be a bright spot for his administration.

— The gap between disapproval and approval of the president also narrowed to the smallest in nearly a year, giving hope to the president’s supporters that they may not lose the House.

5. A fact checker has rated a Democrat candidate for Governor’s comments about Alabama being a low tax state as true

— In a never-ending series of mind-boggling proclamations by Democrat candidates for Governor, former Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb is publicly bemoaning Alabama’s status as a low tax state.

— Cobb’s statement, “Alabama is operating government on the lowest amount of tax revenue of any state in the nation, which is why we’re lagging behind our sister southern states.” This must lead us to ask how much and where Sue Bell Cobb would like to raise taxes.

6. Rep. Maxine Waters is the latest Democrat to express anger at Kanye West for daring to “talk out of turn

— West continues to have powerful people confirm that his original points were valid, but Waters declared, “I think maybe he should think twice about politics – and maybe not have so much to say.”

— Waters is concerned that West is having an impact on young people and African-Americans who are solid Democrat voting-blocks, so she wants him to be quiet, proving she wants diversity in appearance only, not in thinking.

7. Justice Kennedy might retire, the New York Times begs him not to

— The New York Times took a bold position yesterday when they declared that it was important that Justice Kennedy stay on the court for fear that Trump would get another Supreme Court nominee.

— This highlights how political our courts have become. It also should be a call for conservatives to fight to hold the Senate because, “if they can install another rock-ribbed conservative like Neil Gorsuch, the court will have a locked-in right-wing majority for the rest of most of our lifetimes.”

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Dozens of questions for President Trump, Roy Moore isn’t going anywhere, Alabama Democrats look to the past, and more …

1. In a move that shocks no one, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s questions for Trump have “leaked

— Mueller’s questions hit on Trump-Russia, his family, Moscow real estate deals, Jeff Sessions, the firing of James Comey, and more.

— President Trump says the release of the questions for him is “disgraceful“; he would be nuts to sit down for this.

2. Roy Moore is not going away, claims a conspiracy cost him the U.S. Senate race

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— Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore said Monday that he is filing a lawsuit against four women, one man and 19 unnamed defendants he claims engaged in a political conspiracy against him.

— The unproven allegations no doubt had an impact on Roy Moore’s chances in the 2017 election, but Sen. Richard Shelby, Mitch McConnell, and 50% of Donald Trump voters who didn’t show up to vote actually cost him the election.

3. Alabama Democrats are offering a retread of failed ideas, now the presumed front-runner touts a loser’s endorsement

— As Alabama’s media tries to figure out if Democrats really have a chance in 2018, facts say they don’t.

— Tusacloosa mayor Walt Maddox, who is running on a slew of old Democrat ideas, received the endorsement of Ron Sparks, “one of the most popular Democrats in recent Alabama political history,” who got slaughtered by Robert Bentley in 2010 by a 57.6-41.9 margin.

4. While President Trump is making progress on North Korea, Barack Obama’s Iran deal is falling apart

— Standing in front of a screen that at times read “Iran lied” in huge letters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out a case that Iran has been continuing their nuclear program.

— We already knew the previous administration lied to sell their deal, now the whole world knows it too.

5. The United States is going to charge lawbreakers with breaking the law

— 11 possible member of the migrant caravan may have entered the U.S. and they are being charged.

— Two Salvadorans, six Hondurans, and three Guatemalans face charges, all face misdemeanors except for one who entered the country after being deported, a felony charge.

6. The kids from Parkland and the Associated Press team up to spread incorrect information about the National Rifle Association

— In what has become a common trope every time a political figure speaks to the NRA, the Parkland survivors, who can’t be fact checked, and the Associated Press repeated the false story that the NRA banned guns from their convention.

— The Weekly Standard found that it wasn’t the NRA but the Secret Service who banned “guns (along with selfie sticks, backpacks, drones, and a list of other items) from Pence’s speech at the NRA convention in Dallas; just as the Secret Service did during Trump’s appearance at the NRA convention last year and the Republican National Convention the year before that.”

7. The #bluewave continues to run into problems; now they have lost some young people and the Clintons are back

— The blue wave looks like a real thing on social media, but polls continue to show slowing momentum with millennials and a nine point slip in the polls tied to the Republicans handling of the economy.

— While the party tries to look forward, the Clintons say they will be making more appearances, this includes the accomplishment-less Chelsea Clinton.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Alabama Gov. Ivey’s opponents are desperate, American press is terrible, migrant caravan reaches border, and more …

(C-SPAN/Youtube)

1. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner exposed the biases of the press, also exposed them as thin-skinned

— The worst joke of the evening, which exposed the press as elitist, defensive, detached, cruel, blind and made-up of biased Democrats, was a joke about Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that would ruin the career of any conservative: “Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women?”

— This same weekend was filled with hand-wringing about the 1st Amendment, whines about an “infection” of mistrust, and journalists making excuses for MSNBC’s obvious lying because stopping Trump is more important.

2. Weak political games in the governor’s race show how strong Governor Kay Ivey is

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— Sen. Bill Hightower released his medical records in a gambit to get the media to talk about rumors about the governor’s health, it worked

— Mayor Tommy Battle’s campaign is making a baseless-complaint that Kay Ivey took a campaign donation from a PAC that took money from a guy in 2017 who was just appointed as the state superintendent.

3. Americans cheer on an invading force while the media plays up their sad song

— As people on the American side of the border held signs welcoming the “caravan” of migrants, about 50 attempted to enter the country to be told by border officials they would not process anyone without documentation and they have to stay in Mexico.

— As we pretend the border is closed to them, the fact is the crossing admits about 75,000 people a day into the country and can only take so many asylum seekers at a time due to space.

4. All $30 million in tax credits are being used this year in record time, allowing 4,000 kids and parents school choice

— In 2017, it took until December 31st for students and parents to claim scholarships for private schools that are available via the Alabama Accountability Act; this year they are already gone.

— The AEA’s Susan Kennedy fears lawmakers will call to extend the tax credit for more students.

5. As Trump’s personality continues to create chaos, he and Senator Mitch McConnell fill the court with conservatives  

— While Republicans think they are losing, the Republican-led Senate confirmed Trump’s 15th appeals court nominee, the most of any of the last 5 presidents at this time.

— The judges are young, with eight in their 40s and seven in their 50s. They can serve for life.

6. Campaign Trump comes out swinging and offers Senator Jon Tester of Montana some of his own medicine

— After a coordinated smear campaign to take down Admiral Ronny Jackson’s appointment to lead the VA, that included using CNN as a weapon, a Democrat senator finds himself in Trump’s crosshairs.

— Trump, probably lying, said “I know things” about Sen. Jon Tester that will make his re-election in a very pro-Trump Montana much more difficult.

7. The House Congressional Committee released their report on Trump-Russia and found no collusion; no one cares

— The report found absolutely no evidence showing that the Trump campaign “colluded, co-ordinated, or conspired with the Russian government.”

— Democrat are not happy with this, called the report a “white-wash” and “partisan” – they will continue to investigate but have still not confirmed any collusion.

3 weeks ago

7 Things: Trump admits Michael Cohen represented him in pornstar matter, Ivey and Battle stop fighting each other to go to Japan, Bill Cosby is a convicted sexual assaulter, and more …

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

1. President Donald Trump admits to hiring Michael Cohen to deal with Stormy Daniels, Cohen pleads “the fifth

— After months of denying, official denials, and obvious hedging Trump finally admits he hired Cohen to deal with the payout details to silence pornstar Stormy Daniels on “Fox & Friends”.

— Michael Cohen, who everyone is telling us is about to “flip”, is refusing to cooperate with investigators in this matter because he says it will affect an investigation into his business, which is NOT Russian collusion.

2. Gov. Kay Ivey and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle face off at home, but went to Japan together to fight for Alabama

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— Sitting next to each other at meals, the two had discussions with Japanese political and business leaders about Alabama’s political climate.

— While in Japan, Toyota-Mazda announced that they would begin construction on their plant in Huntsville on October 1st.

3. “America’s Dad” is now a convicted sexual assaulter

— 80-year-old Bill Cosby faces up to 30 years in jail for 3 counts related to drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

— Meanwhile, another American “institution” is accused,Tom Brokaw has been accused of sexual harassment.

4. South Korea and North Korea hold a historic summit that NO ONE thought was possible

— The two Koreas are ready to pursue denuclearization- this conversation alone would get President Barack Obama three Nobel Prizes.

— President Donald Trump told “Fox and Friends” that he is ready to meet with Kim, but still held out that the meeting may not happen.

5. Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks believes multiple assassination threats are forcing Congressmen into retirement

— Congressman Brooks and other Republicans were shot at last year in an attack that almost killed House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and injured two capitol police.

— Brooks believes that attack and the many threats since then against House Republicans have helped push some lawmakers to resign.

6. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is signifying that the Trump-Russia probe is out of control

— While defending his decision not to appoint another special counsel to investigate the DOJ, Sessions said “I do not think we need to willy-nilly appoint special counsels,” and “As we can see, it can really take on a life of its own.”

— Sessions has been relentlessly criticized by Republicans, but he did appoint a federal prosecutor from Utah, John Huber, to investigate claims of FBI and DOJ abuse of a surveillance program.

7. The #bluewave shows signs of running out of steam; leadership attempts to stop more extreme candidates

— If the Democrats are so sure they are about to take over Congress, they aren’t acting like it. They are currently trying to force candidates from the far-left to drop out of races.

— Now progressives are calling for Congressman Steny Hoyer to resign after a secret recording showed him pressuring a Colorado House candidate to drop out was made public.